Since the RI Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1945, there have been two constants: a) wonderful classical music played by world-class musicians, and b) Gene Nadeau standing in the balcony applauding and shouting, “Bravo!” to the Orchestra.
As a young boy, Gene fell in love with classical music and opera after tuning it in on his radio. At 14, he attended his first RI Philharmonic concert and was completely hooked. From Francis Madeira’s first to Larry Rachleff’s latest, he’s been a season ticket holder every year.
“I believe that the Philharmonic is something truly special in our community and for all of Rhode Island. I just think that it is beautiful when you see and hear the Orchestra today. Larry, the musicians and everyone here at RIPO&MS have built something that we can respect, be proud of and enjoy. Attendance is up and exciting stuff is happening here.”
Not only has he attended nearly every concert for 71 years, but Gene makes it a point to introduce others to the RI Philharmonic by talking to young people about the Orchestra and Music School. If you know him or have met him, he has probably invited you to join him at a concert. As Rhode Island’s oldest elected official (Warwick Public Schools Board) and “pushing 85,” Gene feels strongly that the love of music needs to be nurtured and cultivated from a young age.
So, next time you are at a RI Philharmonic Orchestra concert and you hear someone shouting, “Bravo!” to the Orchestra, turn toward the balcony and give Gene Nadeau a wave.